4 Bank of America personal loan alternatives

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In a Nutshell

Bank of America doesn’t currently offer personal loans. But if you’re looking for a lender that offers competitive rates, flexible repayment terms and considers applicants with fair credit, here are some alternatives for you to consider.

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Bank of America personal loans aren’t available, which can be inconvenient if you’re a customer of the bank and would prefer to keep everything under one roof.

But if you’re looking for a personal loan to refinance credit card debt, get a home improvement loan or cover an emergency expense, here are some alternatives.

Wells Fargo: Secured and unsecured personal loans

Why consider Wells Fargo: The bank is a national lender with branches in 41 states and offers both secured and unsecured loans. And while an unsecured loan may be preferable because it doesn’t require collateral, Wells Fargo’s secured loan offers higher loan amounts and potentially lower interest rates. The bank also offers personal lines of credit.

Here are some more details about Wells Fargo.

  • Large loan amounts available — Fixed-rate unsecured loans range from $3,000 to $100,000 and secured loans range from $3,000 to $250,000.
  • Repayment terms — Loan terms range from one to seven years. Secured loan terms may extend up to 10 years.
  • Competitive interest rates and a discount — Wells Fargo offers competitive interest rates. And depending on the type of account you have, you might be eligible for an interest rate discount of 0.25% or 0.50% if you have automatic payments from a qualifying Wells Fargo checking account.
  • Origination fee — There’s no origination fee on an unsecured personal loan, but the secured personal loan comes with a $75 fee upfront.
  • Secured loans — To qualify for a secured loan, you may not need to use a physical asset like a car with an auto loan. Instead, you might be able to deposit cash in a Wells Fargo savings account or use a certificate of deposit equal to the loan amount as your collateral. And you can’t access those funds until the loan is paid in full.
Read our full review on Wells Fargo personal loans

SoFi: Extra perks

Why consider SoFi: SoFi is an online lender, which can be appealing to people who prefer an online loan application process. SoFi promises no fees and provides several membership perks on its fixed-rate and variable-rate loans.

Here’s more info on SoFi.

  • Extra perks — As a SoFi member, you’ll get a 0.125% interest rate discount on certain loan types. You’ll also get access to career services and member experiences, complimentary guidance from licensed financial advisers, unemployment protection, and even a referral bonus for every person you refer who becomes a SoFi member.
  • Loan amounts — If approved, you can borrow $5,000 to $100,000, which you’ll have to repay over a period of two to seven years. (Keep in mind that SoFi might offer different terms on Credit Karma.)
  • Fixed and variable APRs — You can apply for a loan with a fixed interest rate that won’t change during your loan term or a variable rate, which could fluctuate. SoFi’s annual percentage rates are very competitive.
  • Prequalification available — You can check your rate without having it hurt your credit scores. Just keep in mind that prequalifying for a loan doesn’t mean you’re actually approved. For that, you’ll need to submit a formal loan application, which may include a hard credit inquiry that can drop your credit scores.
Learn more in our full review of SoFi

LightStream: Low interest rates

Why consider LightStream: LightStream is the online lending division of SunTrust Bank. What sets it apart from other lenders are its low interest rates and its “rate beat” program.

Here are some more details on LightStream.

  • Rate beat program — LightStream offers a rate that is 0.10% percentage points lower than the rates offered by competing lenders if you meet certain requirements.
  • Competitive interest rates — Interest rates are very competitive, depending on your credit and other factors — and they may include a 0.50% rate discount for setting up automatic payments.
  • Loan amounts — Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $100,000, which you can repay over two to 12 years. And you might be able to receive loan funds as soon as the same business day.
  • No prepayment penalty — LightStream doesn’t charge a prepayment penalty if you want to pay off your loan early. It also doesn’t charge origination or late payment fees.
Read our full review of LightStream

Avant: Loans for people with less-than-perfect credit

Why consider Avant: Avant is another online lender, and it says that most of its customers who are approved for loans have a credit score of 600 to 700. If your credit needs some work, Avant could be an option for you.

Here’s more about Avant.

  • Loan amounts — Amounts range from $2,000 to $35,000, which you can repay with monthly payments over a span of two to five years.
  • Higher APRs — Avant doesn’t offer an interest-rate discount, and its rates are higher than the other lenders covered here. That’s not necessarily unexpected, since Avant works with people with less-than-perfect credit. And its loan rates may still be cheaper than those on a credit card.
  • Administration fee — Avant charges an administration fee of up to 4.75% on all of its loans.
  • Potentially fast funding — You could receive approved loan funds as soon as the next business day if you need fast cash for an emergency expense or large purchase.
Learn more about Avant in our full review

How we picked these lenders

Because Bank of America has a national presence, we focused on lenders that offer personal loans throughout the U.S. We also looked at various features that these lenders offer, including limited fees and competitive interest rates, secured loan options, flexible loan terms, accessibility for lower credit scores and other benefits that can provide value.